Eoin Colfer – The Time Paradox
Read By: Enn Reitel
Length: 9h 53min (464 pages)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Started: 26 January 2013
Finished: 06 February 2013
Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? I needed a reliably fun and engaging audiobook, and I knew Artemis Fowl would fit the bill.
Time travel is tough;
meeting your obnoxious past
self makes it tougher.
Summary: Artemis Fowl has returned from the demon dimension to find out that three years have passed, and that he has new younger brothers. He’s used the remnants of his secretly procured fairy magic to persuade his parents not to notice that their eldest son is three years younger than he’s supposed to be, but settling back in to a normal life is proving tricky. But then his mother gets sick: terribly sick, sick with a magic-borne disease that invariably proves fatal unless treated. The only problem is that the only known cure involves the cerebral fluid of a lemur… from a species that went extinct over eight years previously. A species in whose extinction a younger Artemis just may have had a hand. But in order to save his mother, Artemis is willing to risk everything, including having the demon warlock Number One send him and the fairy Holly Short back in time to save the last lemur. But everyone seems to want that lemur, and Artemis will have to outsmart not only the leader of a group that calls themselves the Extinctionists, but he will also have to outwit a younger version of himself… and he will have to do it all before he and Holly are forced to return to the future.
Review: I realize that by my review of the Artemis Fowl books, I may be getting a little repetitive, but thus far, all of the books in this series have been just plain reliably fun. They’re geared towards the younger end of the YA set, but they’re snarky and clever enough that they’re fun for adults as well. Similarly, there are always some interesting moral quandaries and honest emotional moments amid all the running around and fairy technology and explosions, plus there’s been some really interesting character development over the course of the series – highlighted in stark relief here, since we get to see book-6-Artemis literally right next to just-before-book-1-Artemis.
This book in specific had a number of things that I liked, and a few that didn’t work quite so well for me. To start with, I love time travel books, and thinking about the paradoxes of the title (does traveling into the past cause the need to travel into the past in the first place, etc.) is like catnip for me, and I thought this book managed to hit just the right level of complexity on that score without getting itself irretrievably tangled. I also enjoyed watching older Artemis be forced into some self-reflection, and it was interesting to watch him deal with situations not only without Butler to lean on, but with past-Butler as an adversary.
My primary negative was that I found the Extinctionists a little too contrived and silly for them to really be effective as villains. (Although they did remind me of the Epicurean Society from Neil Gaiman’s short story “Sunbird”.) They were okay as a foil for both older and younger Artemises to play off of, but I felt like Artemis vs. Artemis was the more interesting conflict. The other thing with which I wasn’t entirely pleased was the direction it appears Colfer is taking the Holly/Artemis relationship. I think they’re much more interesting as friends and allies, and although I suppose as Artemis ages he’s going to invariably become more interested in romance than he was as an 11-year-old, I liked the fact that prior to this point, the story didn’t have – and didn’t seem to need – a romantic component. (Plus, despite some time-travel shenanigans fudging with their relative ages, Holly’s still substantially older than Artemis, and it’s just kind of gross.)
But those are both relatively minor points. On the whole, this book had no problem drawing me in, keeping me interested, invested, and entertained, and I flew through the audiobook (which Enn Reitel does an excellent job narrating) in shockingly quick time. 4 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: So much of this book is based on what’s gone before that the series absolutely must be read in order. But this one’s a fun installment, easily on par with the rest. (Although it did suffer from a relative lack of Foaly. Ah well.)
First Line: Barely an hour north of Dublin’s fair city lies the Fowl estate, where the boundaries have changed little in the past five hundred years.
© 2013 Fyrefly’s Book Blog. All Rights Reserved. If you’re reading this on a site other than Fyrefly’s Book Blog or its RSS feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is being used without permission.